Supervisors to consider zoning changes for renewable energy projects

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider zoning changes that would open up more land, including some agricultural, industrial and business parcels, to commercial-scale renewable energy projects.

The changes also would ease energy generation limits on non-commercial renewable systems installed for homes and businesses. It would lift them entirely for systems covering roofs or parking areas.

The proposed changes, which focus largely on solar systems, come as the county seeks to launch a public power agency that relies more heavily on electricity from renewable sources, including locally generated power.

The zoning changes, plus two related amendments to the county General Plan, are separate from the power agency proposal and have been in the works for several years, said Jane Riley, a county planner.

But they would help facilitate some of the power agency's goals, which call for a greater supply from a community-scale network.

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